(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth says he has come to terms with his shocking Masters meltdown with the help of family and close friends, and is ready to challenge for the year’s second major, next month’s U.S. Open at Oakmont in Pennsylvania.
The American world number two was five strokes ahead with nine holes to play in his title defense at last month’s Masters but astonishingly ran up a quadruple-bogey at the par-three 12th as he threw away the coveted Green Jacket.
“It was 75 percent you have to do it yourself; and then 25 percent relying on my team, family, friends,” Spieth told a news conference at Oakmont on Wednesday when asked how he had recovered from his Masters experience.
“And then mentors, messages I get from mentors, pretty much saying, ‘Hey, you’ve been in contention six out of the last eight majors, won a couple of them. Something like that, the wrong miss at the wrong time, is bound to happen at some point.’
“I had the same exact miss at the U.S. Open last year. On 17, I made double bogey and kind of squeaked it out at the end, but that was potentially the same kind of experience as the Masters. You’re going to be on the good end and bad end.”
Spieth won last year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay by one shot after finishing a highly dramatic final round birdie, double-bogey, birdie. He then watched as fellow American Dustin Johnson three-putted the par-five last to miss out on a playoff.
“If you’re in it enough, you’re going to be on the good end and bad end of those situations, so keep putting ourselves in contention,” said Spieth, whose Masters title bid effectively ended after he hit two balls into the water on the 12th holes.
“And when we’re on the good end again, I’ll be able to enjoy it even more having experienced the other side of it.”
Double major winner Spieth is looking forward to his U.S. Open title defense at Oakmont Country Club from June 16-19 on a layout he described as “a very tough but fair test” of golf.
“I learned a lot off of just playing a round and a half here,” the 22-year-old said after playing the back nine in practice on Tuesday before completing all 18 holes on Wednesday.
“These bunkers here may as well be bunkers in the U.K. They may as well be pot bunkers. You just kind of have to hit sideways out of them for the most part.
“It’s going to be a challenge. Especially if you fall behind early, you’re going to want to try and make up shots here, and in any U.S. Open, you can’t try and make up shots. You’ve just got to let the golf course come to you.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue